In "The Red Badge of Courage," Crane uses descriptions of places and people rather than names, i.e. "The youth" and "loud soldier." What is this technique called?

1 Answer
Dec 12, 2016

Answer:

epithet

Explanation:

definition of 'epithet' (Merriam-Webster Dictionary):
'a characterising word or phrase accompanying or occurring in place of a name or person or thing'.

Using descriptions of places and people rather than names could shift focus off different characters and onto the main character, and/or create distance between the characters and the reader.

This may be especially significant with phrases like 'the youth' and 'loud soldier', where 'youth' and 'soldier' are part of larger groups, where not being mentioned by name could greatly decrease significance of a character.